Well that makes two straight episodes down the stretch of Mad Men's fifth season that gave the audience an absolute bomb. Last week it was the combination of Joan deciding to sleep her way to partner and Peggy quitting SCDP, and in "Commissions and Fees" it was the death of Lane Pryce.
Wow, did that seriously just happen? When he failed to get the job done in that brand new Jaguar, I thought it was just a fake out. I figured it was going to be one of those deals where he made the attempt and then somebody helped him to stop round two. No, no, no. Lane was seriously motivated to end it.
His final push to get out of the money trouble, and the embarrassment that would come with losing his job, was a horrific one. Not only for the man who lost his life, but also for the individuals who found him like that. That had to be the most tragic moment in each of their lives, and the make-up people did such a good job that I bet it was even pretty troublesome for the viewers.
Am I sad to see Lane part ways with the world like that? Absolutely. Will I miss the boring plots he has been giving Mad Men this season? Not at all. I enjoyed the Brit last year, but in 2012 he has been lulling me to sleep with all of his troubles. Although his act may not have been good for anyone on screen, it may have been a positive for those of us watching off screen.
Before Lane ruined everyone's day, over on the other side of the park, things were happening. Glen made jokes about the animals, he and Sally agreed they didn't like each other in a certain kind of way, and Sally, yes little Sally, became a woman.
As the only Betty Draper fan on the face of the earth, I couldn't have been happier to see her smile, hold her daughter in her arms, and be there for Sally the way she needed to be comforted. I felt bad for Megan, though, who obviously felt awful about how everything went down. Darn Mother Nature! If Sally hadn't gotten her first period right then and there, none of that craziness would have happened!
Not that I expect it out of Don, nor should he have done it, but if he had spent the time with Sally on Monday, she probably would have been better off. Don had important things to do, though. How about getting his swag back? The man, like Lane, was on a mission in "Commissions and Fees."
Fortunately for all, his wasn't also suicidal. No, he wants to bring SCDP back to the promise land. He wants to get Dow Chemical. He wants to steal Firestone. He wants to land American Airlines. The man is confident, he's motivated, and he was even getting me all fired up in both his discussion with Roger and his pitch to Ken's father-in-law.
The penultimate Mad Men of the season also had a nice gesture by Don to let Glen drive himself home at the end the hour, and a couple of awesome guest appearances to begin the episode (Ellis Dewald from Beverly Hills Cop 3, and I think the heckler from Happy Gilmore).
What did you all think of "Commissions and Fees," TV Fanatics? Did it even come close to comparing to last week's outing? Were you surprised by Lane's success? Are you handling it well? What about Sally? Are you glad she was comforted by Betty?
Check out some of the more memorable lines in the Mad Men Quotes section, and then sound off in the comments!
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.